Valley company offering unique solar power

FRESNO, Calif.

Individual "solar trees" can also provide you with shade in your backyard.

It's not the kind of tree you might think of but this one in Coarsegold not only soaks up the sun - it also generates power.

The solar trees offer homeowners a free standing shade structure on a pole, an alternative to putting solar panels on your roof.

James Johnson is the project coordinator for earth, wind and solar.

"They buy this and they really got their own energy plant in their backyard. It's kind of like having a generator but a good looking one with no noise," project coordinator James Johnson said.

Johnson is also working on a solar project at Blackbeard's Family Entertainment Center in East Central Fresno. Larger solar trees will be installed here.

But the company is now targeting homeowners. It can also equip solar trees with charging stations for electric cars.

"Some don't believe it's solar until they look at the panels underneath because it does look like a giant shade tree or a parking structure," Johnson said.

These solar trees are not "off the grid." They're tied to the power grid so you would earn energy credits through your utility company's power purchase program.

Johnson says the solar trees cost a little more than solar panels on a roof because of the structure.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.